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Ravens training camp primer: Defense

NFL: Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

On July 19, the Ravens will jog out of the Under Armour Performance Center building and onto the practice field for the first day of training camp. To those who’ve tuned out since the end of January, here are the biggest stories surrounding the defense.

New Coordinator, Who Dis?

Don ‘Wink’ Martindale is the new defensive coordinator after Dean Pees retired for a week. Wink is known for an aggressive play-call style, which is the opposite of Dean’s bend-don’t-break style. Multiple players voiced their excitement throughout the off-, which is only bringing hype to the fan base.

Jimmy Smith’s Achilles

Yesterday, the Ravens placed six players on the PUP. Jimmy’s name was not on the list. On day one, fans may see Smith on the sidelines working individual drills or as a full participant in practice. As fans all know, ‘Beans’ health is critical to the Ravens’ success.

Tavon Young’s Return

After tearing his ACL in OTAs in 2017, Tavon Young’s sophomore season was stolen from him. He produced high-tier corner back play his rookie season and the loss of Young hurt the Ravens early on. Now, the Temple product is back and hungry to take his rightful place in the slot, bullying the small receivers he’ll stand opposite of. Young is certainly ready, as his post from June is a reminder he won’t need anybody else to gas him up.

Passing the Torch

Matt Judon’s play has only developed the past couple seasons and 2018 may be the year he receives the torch from the 2011 Defensive Player of the Year, Terrell Suggs. Sizzle will hit 36 years old days before Week 6 against the Tennessee Titans, which is a feat in itself. If Judon can break double digit sacks this season, Sizzle’s workload may no longer require all three downs.

Young Thundering Herd

The Ravens 2017 Ravens draft featured two defensive backs, two outside linebackers and a defensive end. Of the five, only Marlon Humphrey truly produced on the big stage. The Ravens need more now, specifically both Tyus Bowser and Tim Williams in the pass-rush department.

Rookie’s With Upside

The 2018 NFL Draft began with big-time offensive playmakers, but the four defensive selections feature high-end potential. Many are excited to watch the battle between Tavon and Anthony Averett unfold. The late-round flier on DeShon Elliott is exciting. Also, Kenny Young’s skillset pairing strongly with C.J. Mosley may create a competition with Patrick Onwausor. Finally, Zach Sieler is a dark-horse candidate, with the pressure of being Ozzie Newsome’s final draft selection.

Odd Man Out

The depth at defensive lineman is sure to push somebody out. Money, years left and upside will all be a factor in cutting or trading somebody this training camp.